Metro

Timi Frank advises labour unions not to accept below N250k minimum wage

*Says what is good for judicial office-holders is good for civil servants

Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, on Friday, called on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to reject any minimum wage offer from the federal government that is less than N250,000.00 per month.
Frank, who was reacting to unconfirmed reports of Federal Government’s offer of N105,000.00 to workers as new minimum wage during their ongoing tripartite negotiation, said: “any amount below N250,000.00 cannot be considered a decent wage for Nigerian workers considering the present socio-economic hardship in the country.”
LEADERSHIP reports that the Presidency has, however, denied any N105,000 minimum wage offer to workers.
But, in a statement in Abuja, Frank accused the President Bola Tinubu-led administration of double standards in the fixing of salaries, saying what is good for judicial office-holders was also good for Nigerian workers.
According to the Bayelsa-born political activist, Tinubu recently sent a Bill to the National Assembly in which he proposed 300 per cent increase in the salaries and allowances of Supreme Court Justices, Appeal Court Justices, President of the National Industrial Court, Judges of the Federal and State High Courts as well as Grand Khadi of State Sharia Courts, among others, in the country.
He noted that the Bill has been hurriedly passed as proposed by the President in both chambers of the National Assembly and now awaiting the assent of the President to become enforceable law.
Frank, who is the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and the Middle East, said: “How can you increase the salary of an arm of government that is already earning a humongous salary by 300 per cent and add peanuts to the paltry N30,000 that workers have been compelled to live with in this country as minimum wage in the last five years?
“Why did the President send an Executive Bill to the National Assembly to effect a 300 per cent upward review in the salaries of Judicial Office Holders but set up a tripartite committee to negotiate a “starvation wage” (apologies to NLC President Joe Ajaero) for suffering Nigerian workers instead of a “living wage” he promised them on assumption of office in May last year?”
He said that the executive, legislative and judicial arms of government ought to reduce their salaries and allowances to accommodate Nigerian workers who can barely have one meal a day rather than increasing their take home which is already over bloated and economically, financially and socially suffocate workers.
He, however, declared that: “Nigerians are no fools as they know that the proposed generous increase in the salaries of Judicial Office Holders is meant to pay them for the devious work they did to judicially ratify the stay of key political office holders in this administration in office including President Tinubu, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, among others, and to compromise them ahead of any judicial challenge in future polls.”
He reiterated that workers are the engine room of the nation’s economy and that paying them a living wage will boost their morale to work diligently and even pay the supreme price in line of duty for the country’s development if need be.
He, therefore, urged the leadership of the Organised Labour to be resolute in their demand to ensure that workers get a deserved living wage at this time in the Nation’s developmental journey.
He urged them to leave their foot prints on the sands of time by being non-compromising but warned that doing otherwise would inscribe their names in the hall of shame.

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